A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Sunny Onuesoke has described the proposed, nation wide protest by the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over the planned removal of petroleum subsidy as misplacement of priority.
Onuseoke, who made the statement while addressing newsmen in Warri, Delta State, said if members of NLC meant well for Nigerians, they were expected to push for the renovation of non functional refineries.
He said, If NLC can push for the repairs of the refineries the issue of fuel subsidy will be over. I wonder why they are all turning their eyes away from the reality.
“What is the need of having over four non functional refineries that are gulping billions of Naira annually. If those refineries are not working if we now have to import fuel, even from African countries that do not produce oil, there can be no justification for visiting the irresponsibility of the government on the Nigerian people,” he stated.
Onuesoke who argued that the country has no reason for not reviving its moribund domestic refineries said. “It is a shame for Nigeria to remain the only OPEC member that imports more than 90 per cent of its refined petroleum needs”.
The precipitous removal of fuel subsidy without making strategic plans or giving particular attention to the domestic refining is tantamount to strangulating Nigerians.
“Before the removal of the fuel subsidy, it will indeed be a very good idea for Nigeria to go all out to resuscitate its four comatose refineries and embark on building new others in order to mitigate the consequences of the withdrawal. The poser here is why Nigeria’s four ailing refineries are yet to be resuscitated” he queried.
The PDP Chieftain advised that the government should not impulsively withdraw fuel subsidy unless its entire four comatose refineries were resuscitated.